BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nift, the first invitation-only network that helps neighborhood businesses bring the right new customers through the door, today announced that it has raised a $3 million round of venture capital funding. The seed round, led by Spark Capital and Accomplice, will enable Nift to expand its network of local businesses and continue enhancing the technology that powers it.
“For neighborhood businesses, finding new customers is getting more and more challenging. Larger competitors price them out of the advertising market, deal sites usually result in sharp discounts for one-time patrons, and even though social networks can be effective at targeting, all they can guarantee is awareness,” said Elery Pfeffer, CEO and founder of Nift. “Working with neighborhood businesses in the Boston area, we’ve developed a novel way for them to get discovered without the use of discounts, deals or advertising. And unlike other tools a business might use, there’s no cost for using Nift unless a customer walks through their door.”
Nift is a network of businesses like restaurants, boutiques, hair salons, spas, gyms and locally-owned stores that are the engines of local economies and sustain a neighborhood’s character. Business owners use Nift to thank their best customers with a complimentary, full-value gift to another local business. As a business owner, when you give a Nift gift you'll help one of your customers discover a great neighborhood business. In return, another business will give their best customer a Nift gift, helping them discover your business.
“Nift is easy to get up and running, and is more efficient and cost-effective than any other method I’ve used to find new customers. Beyond that, being able to thank my customers while supporting other local businesses is a win-win,” said Erin Sandler, owner of Quinstance, a retail boutique in Burlington. “But the best part about Nift is that it sends the right customers through my door. These aren’t bargain hunters, they’re people that I already know are great customers from other businesses in my area.”
Justine Deutsch Myers, owner of Acupuncture Together in Cambridge, is one of hundreds of businesses already growing with Nift in the Greater Boston area.
“We get written thank you messages from Nift customers all the time. One of these customers was actually completely new to acupuncture, and would never have tried us without Nift,” said Deutsch Myers. “Around 60 percent of customers who visit with Nift gifts intend to return, and most already have.”
Nift is built on sophisticated, proprietary technology that matches the best customers with gifts from non-competitive businesses. It also ensures fairness, so the value of Nifts that one business gives is equal to the value of Nifts their customers receive in return.
“The value that Nift brings to my business grows even further when new customers return,” said Ivan Millan-Pulecio, owner of Hearth Pizzeria in Needham. “In the written feedback we get from new customers, they tell us they’ll come back. And they do.”
The Nift Neighborhood Giftfest
On June 21, the company will hold the Nift Neighborhood Giftfest. That day, an estimated 5,000 employees at more than ten leading companies in the Greater Boston tech community will arrive at work to find a “Thank You” from their employers in the form of a Nift. Everyone receiving a Nift that day will be treated to a fully-paid gift at a participating local business.
Toast, a leading restaurant point-of-sale company headquartered in Boston that employs more than 200 people, is one of the participating companies.
“At Toast, we love supporting local businesses like our customer restaurants and showing appreciation for our employees,” said Ellie Mirman, VP of marketing at Toast. “When we had the chance to bring those two together with Nift Giftfest, we jumped at the opportunity! Our office is in the heart of Fenway, surrounded by great food, entertainment, and sports. We can't wait to kick off the summer supporting our local neighbors.”
Local businesses interested in bringing some of the area’s top tech employees through their door as part of the Nift Giftfest can learn more or sign up at: https://www.gonift.com/niftgiftfest/forbusiness.
Nift is the first invitation-only network that helps neighborhood businesses get the right local customers to walk through the door. It’s the only network that guarantees businesses are discovered every time they thank their best customers. Nift, short for “neighborhood gift,” was founded in Brookline, Massachusetts and was developed in collaboration with the local businesses it was established to help. For more information, visit www.GoNift.com or follow @NiftNetwork on Twitter.